As a pageant coach and a former Mrs. Ohio USA title holder, I am constantly working to educate the public that not all beauty contestants are empty minded bombshells. Gone are the days when questions are answered with canned answers we think the judges want to hear such as, “My favorite color is red, white, and blue”.
Today’s pageant contestants must know who they are, know the issues, and speak up for what they believe in. Contestants should be judged on how they deliver and support their position on issues, not on whether the judges personally agree or disagree with their positions.
During a live broadcast of the Miss USA Pageant this past Sunday night, Miss California was asked how she felt about gay marriage. She said she is against it. Whether or not I agree with her answer, I applaud Miss California for standing up for what she believes and supporting it. Unfortunately, the camera caught a shot of the judge, Perez Hilton, shaking his head in disbelief after hearing her answer.
Miss California placed as first runner-up to Miss North Carolina at the completion of the competition. Did her answer place her in that position? We will never know, but will always wonder. Miss North Carolina did an outstanding job and had high scores in each area of competition all evening. She is well deserving of the title and I wish her much success during her reign.
No matter who won that evening, a great disservice was done to all young people watching the pageant. How will they now decide to answer future pageant, job, or college interview questions? Will they be true to themselves or did they learn to tell the interviewer what they want to hear just to get the job?
Personally, I will continue to be true to myself, speak my mind and coach others to do the same. I will also continue to respect the opinions of others whether or not I agree. Isn’t this what freedom of speech is all about? Or is your favorite color really red, white, and blue?